GALLIPOLIS — Craig Wright has been named by the Gallipolis City School Board as the new interim superintendent for the 2017-18 school year.
Wright has been in education for 22 years, working in Gallipolis City Schools since 2002.
“I think, what I bring to the table is leadership, I am a hometown guy and I know the district,” said Wright. “I feel like I know the people and the needs for our community. I’ve listened to the stakeholders.”
Wright has served in numerous positions within the school district, from summer help in janitorial staff, to teaching, to serving as athletic director and most recently as principal of the middle school.
“I feel that I am well balanced in a lot of different facets of the job,” stated Wright.
“I’m learning things from Roger (Mace), business and operations and finance, that stray away from education somewhat, which has been valuable to me,” explained Wright, who has a background in education and educational law.
Wright will serve as interim superintendent for the year, and will then reevaluate with the school board to determine if it will become a permanent position. This allows both Wright and the school board the ability to opt out if they choose to do so. Mace will stay on for several months to assist with the transition.
Wright comes to the position with several goals in mind for the future.
“We want to increase academic performance, our finances…looking at different ways we can get back on our feet without taking teacher’s jobs, and improving our customer service…being a benefit to the community,” said Wright.
“Partnerships in education is important, we need to get our businesses and stakeholders more involved in the schools,” said Wright, explaining the necessity of increasing academic excellence, as both a benefit to the students and community on the whole. “We want to allow for some ownership and accountability as well. I think we’ve got a lot of community members that we could benefit from in the schools.”
On the average day, a superintendent lives a fast-paced life that starts early and ends late. There are numerous aspects to the job that require the attention of the superintendent.
“I think it’s important to take time and listen to people and hear what their goals are. I try and take time for that,” said Wright. “There is a lot of different aspects to the job, it’s bigger than just education.”
The superintendent deals with over 250 employees in food services, transportation, safety, and curriculum, forcing them to be versatile and able to deal with numerous situations.
“We’re like firemen, we’re always putting fires out,” said Mace. He explained that in his time as superintendent, a large part of his job was answering questions all day long and resolving problems.
Mace also gave advice to Wright: “Be strong, lead by example. Base your decisions on three things: make sure it’s efficient, effective, and it’s what is best for the kids.”